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October 15, 2018

Canadian Steel Tariffs To Take Effect Oct. 25

Canada’s Department of Finance announced this week that, starting on Oct. 25, it will impose 25 percent tariffs on seven steel products imported from China and other countries. All U.S. products are exempt from the penalties while only a portion of products from Mexico are. According to Reuters, Mexican officials said they will take action to protect its exporters. The seven products affected are heavy plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire, and wire rod.

The government also announced last week that it will issue refunds and exemptions for steel imports from the United States. According to the country’s Department of Finance:

  • Companies that have applied for and been granted relief can now import steel and aluminum products from the United States without paying surtaxes. Some of the relief will be temporary, offered until Canadian producers can adequately meet domestic demand.
  • The Canadian government will continue to assess, on a case-by-case basis, relief applications based on market conditions including supply shortages.
  • The government will also create a committee to make it easier for all relevant stakeholders to provide their views on requests for relief from countermeasures.

Additional information about the Department of Finance’s announcement is available here.

As noted in Connecting the Dots last week, the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) did not address the United States’ Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, addressed that issue last week, telling Bloomberg, “We continue to discuss the section 232 tariffs with our U.S. counterparts. Our position remains clear and firm: these tariffs are entirely unjustified … The best economic outcome for both countries would be for the U.S. to remove these tariffs.”

The Metals Service Center Institute has argued since the beginning of the Section 232 investigations that North American trading partners should be exempt from the penalties.